Looking at the portfolio of power cables from the Japanese manufacturer Furutech, we can distinguish two groups. The first one encompasses all “naked” cables, covered only with PVC and reasonably priced versions of the 314, 320, 2TS320, 3TS762 and ALPHA3. The second one is dedicated to the more wealthy, and at the same time, more picky customers. Typically, with the price increase also the external design of the cable usually gets also better. So starting with the Absolute Power 15 Plus and Power Reference III there are opalescent, nylon braids, supplemented, in case of the Powerflux, by phenomenal, piezzo-ceramic plugs FI-50M(R). But even in case of the last cable, the psychological barrier of 10000 zlotys was not crossed. Frankly speaking, for such a renowned cable manufacturer, such restraint may seem surprising, especially given the fact, that recently they introduced the truly reference power strip Pure Power 6. But probably the Japanese masters were not pressed with time, and in the beginning of February they presented their newest product – the NanoFlux. This cable is designed and manufactured using latest and to date not used technologies. So we finally came to the main topic – the fact, that we received for testing a limited, provided only to selected dealers, Japanese top cable Furutech NanoFlux. So I do not want to keep you waiting any longer and invite you cordially to read the review.
The conductors have a diameter of 3.8mm and each one of them is made from α (Alpha) Nano OCC copper, cryogenically treated covered with Nano Liquid (squalene oil) with gold and silver particles with a size of 8 nm (8/1000000mm). This treatment covers every possible irregularity of the surface of the conductor. To make it even more difficult, each lead consists of 7 bundles of 62 conductors each. The isolation is made from a few elastic layers and the cable is shielded with a braid made of copper. The external isolation is made from PVC with increased elasticity and covered with a dark-blue sheath made from nylon, with a white crossing thread in it. The external diameter is 18.8mm and the termination consists of proprietary plugs FI-50R and FI-E50R. All this is amended with a solid bullet on the cable, which is designed to minimize mechanical and electrical interference.
The birth of a supernova is accompanied by a big explosion, and I recommend to take some heart pills and calm down as much as possible, before you plug in the NanoFlux into your system. Please believe me, I am writing those words because I care for you, and I do not want to have a heart attack on my conscience. I also do not want to be aware, that you had to endure jaw surgery, after your jaw bone has shattered on the floor after being dropped. The reason for this is simple – the Furutech gives such a boost to a system it gets plugged into, that if you are not prepared for it, you can feel as if Chuck Norris just tried out one of his famous kicks on you. There is such an energy flowing out of your speakers, as if the material recorded on the carrier you are playing would be exploding with cosmic energy. Full dynamics, incredible momentum and volume waking sheer applause.
Initially calm, opening the „House of Gold & Bones Part 2” Stone Sour piece „Red City” initially charmed with incredible palpability and realism of the toned down and slightly revoked emotionally vocals, just to quickly transform into overwhelming guitar riffs and growling, typical for this group. What is incredibly important with this kind of repertoire, each attack of the transients was not only lightning fast, but also deadly precise. There was no place for even a moment of doubt, despair or attempt to round off or soften the edgy phrases. This can be heard well on the piece “Sadist”, where the ongoing increase of tempo is paired with intensified usage of the instruments and increased volume. With the Furutech the process is absolutely natural, as if we would be driving a classy muscle car, not having to think if we have enough power under our foot, because it is obvious, and not just wishful thinking. Staying with automotive metaphors, lately I use the mighty power amplifier Abyssound ASX-1000 connected with the Acoustic Zen Gargantua II cable is like a boosted Dodge Charger RT, but switching over to the NanoFlux is like an investment in a Nitro setup, like in the “Fast & Furious” movie. Please listen into, or better feel in your guts, the bass guitar on “Blue Smoke” starting on 1:47. This is world mastery. Staying in the same climates, I took the melodic, yet heavy like a steamroller, full with electronic inserts, industrial-metal disc “Device” Device (fans of Disturbed should get acquainted with it, if they did not do it yet).Even with such a material the selectiveness and clarity of the sound remained brilliant. In addition, you could listen to this charming clatter for a long time, loud and without fatigue, or even the slightest signs of irritation. Of course I am talking about myself here, as my neighbors could have absolutely different observations.
Enough jokes for today. Now it is time for something “normal”, acceptable for most of the listeners, to whom this cable is dedicated. So let us start with very light repertoire, like the “Black Sheep” Arne Domnerus, issued in the series Swedish Jazz Legends, which on one hand soothed the senses with soft phrases, but on the other hand did not allow for quiet sitting in your listening chair, because the legs moved from their own in the rhythm of the jazz standards. An exception were the mournful phrases like “Gammal fäbodpsalm”, where the lyrical nature of the Furutech came to the surface and everything combined into a logical whole. Sweet, dense and velvety arrangements Queen Latifach on “Trav’lin Light” only confirmed my previous observations. Lazy rhythms, charming, low and closely recorded vocals acted extremely lazy-making, and had an anti-depressive action. Everything was coherent, put well together, softly lit, yet without losing the sharp contours of the virtual sources and without losing the proper gradation of the individual planes on the wide and surprisingly deep soundstage. Nothing flew together, nothing had undefined shapes, the sharpness was depending on the vision of the sound engineer and was not a result of the limitations of the listening system.
Etherealness and sprightliness of the oriental rhythms on the phenomenal album “Istanbul” Jordi Savall were also splendidly reproduced. This very original instrumentation (eg. oud, duduk, kanun, santur) allowed to feel the climate of the musical legacy of the Ottoman empire, enriched with elements from Turkish, Greek or even Jewish cultures. In this unusual crucible lovely, yet at the same time mysterious rhythms whirled, an aesthetic which is absolutely different to the modern one, and most importantly, there was peace everywhere. Without any rush, with a clean mind, freed from daily concerns, you could subdue to the audiophile meditation and follow the mastery of the musicians. Catching all kinds of tastes and nuances is something for a completely different paragraph, but the Furutech providing all information that is recorded, stayed aside, allowing the listener to make a completely independent decision, if he wants to absorb the musical spectacle developing before his eyes as a whole, or, after getting acquainted with the material, successively immerge into the back alleys of micro decays and slowly decaying reverberations.
Looking at the NanoFlux from the perspective of time, and trying to pretend to be objective, I must confess, that Furutech has done quite a job there. I would even say that Furutech succeeded better with it, than Telly Savalas with losing hair (yes, yes, I know the story about the role of Pilatus in “The Greatest Story Ever Told”). It is real dynamite, which not only releases the whole energy hidden in the reproduced material, but allows also the electronics work with 100% efficiency. This cable does not enhance anything, does not favor anything or make anything more beautiful. It just makes the boundaries, that restrain our beloved music, break. Everything becomes more real, more truthful, natural, but only after we listen to the NanoFlux for longer, we will notice, that everything should be like that from the very beginning.
Price: 1,8 m /15 050 PLN
System used in this test:
– CD/DAC: Ayon CD-1sx
– Digital source selector: Audio Authority 1177
– Network Music Player: Olive O2M; laptop Dell Inspiron 1764 + JRiver Media Center
– Preamplifier: Abyssound ASP-1000
– Power amplifier: Abyssound ASX-1000
– Speakers: Gauder Akustik Arcona 80 + spike extenders
– IC RCA: Antipodes Audio Katipo; Siltech Classic Anniversary 770i
– IC XLR: LessLoss Anchorwave; Organic Audio; Amare Musica
– Digital IC: Fadel art DigiLitz; Harmonic Technology Cyberlink Copper; Apogee Wyde Eye; Monster Cable Interlink LightSpeed 200
– USB Cable: Wireworld Starlight; Goldenote Firenze Silver
– Speaker Cables: Organic Audio; Signal Projects Hydra
– Power Cables: Furutech FP-3TS762 / FI-28R / FI-E38R; Organic Audio Power; Acoustic Zen Gargantua II; Organic Audio Reference Power
– Power distribution board: GigaWatt PF-2 + Furutech FP-3TS762 / FI-28R / FI-E38R
– Wall Socket: Furutech FT-SWS(R)
– Antivibration platform: Franc Audio Accessories Wood Block Slim Platform
– Ethernet cables: Neyton CAT7+
– Accessories: Sevenrods Dust-caps; Furutech CF-080 Damping Ring; HighEndNovum PMR Premium; Albat Revolution Loudspeaker Chips
I use the cables from the Japanese company Furutech for years, but I never surpassed the medium price level from their catalog. This because the cables fared so well, that I did not feel the need to exchange them for something better. Of course, in theory, the more expensive the better, and judging based on positive opinions in the press and in the Internet, this manufacturer offers significant quality increase, when you move up in their portfolio. Fortunately, being absolutely content with what I have, I did not search for superfluous spending, but enjoyed purchasing discs, which are the main goal of the audio game. And probably I would still be avoiding this topic, but after the portal Soundrebels was created, I am in a way obliged to test audio accessories, so from time to time I have to tackle something regarded as audio-voodoo. In this case I received for testing a power cable from the highest “Flux” series, which name “Nano” suggests a change of the used compounds on the nano-particle level. This is still copper, but enriched with silver and gold particles, which bring this product to unbelievable levels of refinement, claims the manufacturer. Now there is nothing else to do besides inviting you meet the newest product from the Land of the Cherry Blossom, the power cord Furutech NanoFlux, distributed in Poland by the Katowice based RCM.
All people, who know the previous version of the top Flux, will notice the change of the color of the braid. The older one based on light violet, while now we get saturated blue with some light blue strains. Other external differences are the thickness of the cable and a ring used on the outside; currently it has the size of a significantly sized barrel. The length and used plugs are the same in both cases. Unfortunately for users having restricted space behind their electronics, this cable is even stiffer, what does not mean, that it cannot be folded at all, but I experienced much more flexible cords. However, if you think through how to apply it, we should be able to put it even in more difficult conditions.
Because the first listener was Marcin, I could start listening already after a few pieces played, as the cable was already burned in. That was the plan, but I could not get to the test immediately, so the tested power cable waited for a few days. Looking at it, I wondered all the time, what it can bring into the sound, so that I would not need to treat this adventure as a search for a substantiation of moving to a higher price level. Finally the day came, when I started the test, which turned out to be full with positive experiences. I have heard many power cables, but such an increase in weight supported by the increased contour of the lower frequencies I did not expect. In addition, together with the increase of the weight of the virtual sources, the stage also gained swing and breath, showing the cymbals of the percussion player much more palpably. This was splendidly shown on the Dino Saluzzi disc “Mojotoro”. Saturation, increase of mass and sharpening of all the sounds did not result in any kind of artificiality of the sound. And I must tell you, that during the test I used very open Polish loudspeakers Ardento Alter II, based on Sonido wide range driver (paper cone) in the midrange and an Aurum Cantus ribbon tweeter. Any kind of distortion of the sound would be shown on a silver plate, from the first note. Yet I could not believe my ears – the 18 inch bass drivers clearly showed how the base drum should look like, at the same time making the monstrously big loudspeakers (60cm wide and 140cm high) disappear, leaving just tons of sound space behind. I changed the repertoire and went to a church with Jordi Savall and his Sybil songs. Such a gradation of sound planes is much easier achievable with stand mount speakers, but the experience with the Japanese cable showed, that even speakers the size of a clothes cabinet, are capable of showing to the listener, how far behind and above the musicians the sounds reflect from the walls and ceiling. Besides that the lowest voices of the choir talked to me much stronger, what was very nice to me, due to my repertoire references. I probably do not need to inform anybody, that after I noticed that, my player was more frequently fed with such climates. If something sounds great, you cannot constrain yourself, even if you know the material through and through, still you have to see, if it will sound better. Did the tested cable had any flaws? In my opinion rather not, but during the dozen days I tested the cable, I experienced too much of the good. This was however not the flaw of the cable itself, but rather the recording of Ms. Cassandra Wilson, which is too heavy on bass. This recording is very nice when we have a system lacking lower frequencies, but in balanced systems, it is worse. Still, even this disc did not become monotone rumble, but we were informed, that the sound engineers were had not too much taste. Frankly speaking, since I acquired the Harmonix cables I use now (about three years ago) this was the first time, when I thought: “well, maybe I could…?”
A human being learns during the whole life. My system is a certain view of its constructor on the sound, realized in the form of individual components in its catalog. Every foreign product has a difficult life trying to fit in this orthodox environment, and if it succeeds, this results in a different sound, which does not impair the quality of the system. Here I get a cable from a different manufacturer, and it does not harm, but even improves the sound. This is interesting and very tiring on the long run. It is not easy to forget such encounters, which you approach with caution, and, after testing, you need to apologize to the constructors of that item, that you were not believing in their competences. If somebody is searching for a cable, then he should get acquainted with this product. But I must warn you, that people with systems heavy on bass, especially pumped-up with bass-reflex ported speakers, may experience too much of the lower octaves. But it can also be, that if something is too dense for me, it can be just the beginning of the road for others. So only our own ears will give us answers, if the Furutech NanoFlux is that, what your system desperately needs now.
System used in this test:
– Separate DAC + CD player: Reimyo CDT – 777 + Reimyo DAP – 999 EX
– Preamplifier: Reimyo CAT – 777 MK II; Robert Koda Takumi K-15
– Power amplifier:Reimyo KAP – 777; Robert Koda Takumi K-70
– Speakers: ARDENTO ALTER II
– Speaker Cables: Harmonix HS 101-EXQ
– IC RCA Harmonix HS 101-GP
– Digital IC: Harmonix HS 102
– Power cables: Harmonix X-DC-350M2R Improved Version
– Table: SOLID BASE VI
– Accessories: Antivibration stand for the power amp by Harmonix TU-505EX MK2, Harmonix Enacom improved for AC 100-240V; Harmonix Tuning Room Mini Disk RFA-80i
– Power distributor: POWER BASE HIGH END plus with Acrolink 9500
drive: Dr. Feickert Analogue „Twin”
arm: SME V
cartridge: Dynavector XX-2 MK II
Phonostage: RCM THERIAA